October 5, 2014 (JUBA) – Cases of the deadly Kala-azar disease in South Sudan hit 4,500 last week, a figure much higher than what recorded within the same period in 2013, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest report.
Kala-azar is transmitted by bite of sand fly and kills victims within weeks if not treated. Currently, the disease reportedly has high prevalence in northern Jonglei and Southern Upper Nile regions.
The nearly 10 month-old conflict in South Sudan means those remote areas could not be easily accessed and the spread of the deadly disease continue unabated, UN agencies say.
“Kala-azar outbreak continued with 4,624 cases reported (in 2014) compared to 1,614 cumulative cases in the same week in 2013,” partly reads the OCHA report.
“Partners stressed that a full response to Kala-azar requires additional health and nutrition to support treatment facitilities,” it adds, citing Lankien, Malakal, Fangak and Chuil areas as badly-hit by the disease.
OCHA, in a related development, said internally displaced persons in the country face several health risks, which need to be addressed.
Cases of malaria, acute watery diarrhea and respiratory infections are reportedly very common among the internally displaced.